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Kobe's Magic Tonight - 81 points against Toronto


January 22, 2006 is a date that has gone to history. Kobe Bryant was at his sporting peak and he and his Lakers were pitted against the Toronto Raptors at the Staples Center. A tired match in the comic strip probably thought many, Kobe Bryant thought otherwise. The Lakers' star guard stayed at 81 points, the second-best scoring record in NBA history. - It was like a man against boys, says Jalen Rose, who had the main responsibility to defend against Kobe during the legendary evening.

Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA during the 60's. The big-grown center in March 1962 stood for an incredible feat when he scored 100 points against the New York Knicks. In the 1960s, only a few matches were broadcast in the league, Wilt Chamberlain's holding against the Knicks was not one of them. The match has survived in an almost mythical way and the listing, most understanders agree, is unbeatable.

Before January 2006, no one except Chamberlain himself had been close to repeating the farm. On January 22, the LA Lakers faced the Toronto Raptors. Kobe Bryant was the big star of a Lakers on the small box after Shaquille O'Neal left the club after the three straight titles in 2001-2003.

"It was a snooze party"

The match in advance appeared to be a highly ordinary match in the 82-game NBA Series Cup.

- It was a "snooze party", let's be honest. No one was there. There were no A-celebrities there, none of the beautiful LA people were there, "Chuck Swirsky, author of the book" Facing Kobe Bryant, "told

The Raptors led much of the match and with just over two minutes into the third period, Toronto took the lead with 71-53. Then Kobe Bryant went off. The star guard fired eleven straight shots before missing a jump shot with 1.9 seconds left of the period.

Kobe went 53 points in the closing period, already an impressive listing. But in the fourth, Kobe Bryant took over overall.

- He was calm and just took over. In such cases he was only in the "zone", his discipline and focus are unmatched in many ways. That's why he had the career he had, says Jalen Rose, the man with the less pleasant task of defending against Kobe Bryant during the memorable evening.

"Don't even be his best match"

Kobe was often criticized during his career for his great ego and inability to drop the ball to his teammates. Jalen Rose says crazy criticism.

- I always laughed when I told people he didn't fit enough. If you can score 81 points in an NBA game, why would you ever want to fit?

28 points in the final period meant that Kobe Bryant stayed at 81 points. The only time since Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point night that anyone has even been near his record. The match has gone down in history as one of the biggest achievements of the modern basketball team and a large part of the legacy that Kobe leaves behind.

- When I talk about that match, I always think: Kobe never hit his chest. He never pointed to the audience. He was in such a zone, it was like a man against boys. He totally crushed us but he never showed any feelings while doing so. The biggest thing with his 81-point game is that he wasn't even the best, not in my opinion anyway, Jalen Rose tells

Source: svt

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